Published: Tue, January 22, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

See The Most Dazzling Photos Of January's Super Blood Wolf Moon

See The Most Dazzling Photos Of January's Super Blood Wolf Moon

Stargazers in parts of the United Kingdom under clear skies have been treated to the astronomical spectacle of a "super blood wolf moon". The moon appeared bigger than normal because it was closer to the Earth - about 358,000 kilometres away instead of the usual 390,000km - earning it the nickname "super moon".

The Reuters news agency reported, "The best viewing of the one-hour total eclipse was from North and South America, with as many as 2.8 billion people able to see it from the Western Hemisphere, Europe, West Africa and northernmost Russian Federation". The Feb. 19 full moon won't feature an eclipse, but it will rate as the biggest and brightest lunar spectacle of the year - which justifies the sole "supermoon" title in my book. It was a blood moon because the Earth's shadow completely covered the moon, giving it a reddish glow. A full moon occurs every 29.5 days when Earth is directly aligned between the sun and the moon.

During a lunar eclipse, the Moon appears red because the light of the Sun no longer directly illuminates it, since Earth is passing in between the Moon and Sun.

A super blood wolf moon occurs when a blood moon and supermoon occur simultaneously and was best seen from the United Kingdom at around 5.10am - providing clouds did not obstruct the view. According to The Farmer's Almanac, "Wolf" traditionally refers to the first full moon in Jaunaury.

Why does a total lunar eclipse not occur at every full moon?

"We're going into this unusual lull in total lunar eclipses over the next couple of years", explained Tom Kerss, an astronomer from the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Americans on the West Coast will likely have the best chances of viewing that celestial show.

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